Josiah takes a look at Jesus’ teaching on love as a part of the ongoing series True Community.
Jesus steps into the normal order of things in the synagogue and does something out of the ordinary, even shocking, that deepens their understanding of God. Jesus’ audience consisted of people committed to the word of God, and so are we, but sometimes our human interpretation of how things are or ought to be leads us to set this view up as a tradition that we simply accept as reality. Are you willing to let Jesus challenge your interpretations?
Luke 9:51-62 When Jesus called his disciples to “come and follow,” he did not suggest that their life would become easy. He actually suggested that discipleship came at a great cost but that the investment paid eternal dividends. There are many famous authors who have addressed the cost of discipleship and many more who have lived the reality without writing about the experience. One thing is certain, following Christ does not mean that our life becomes easy but the life of a disciple includes remarkable rewards. This week we will consider with Pastor Bob the challenges and blessings of following Jesus. Join us on Sunday morning because a rich understanding of discipleship is always found in Christian community where the stories of grace from others continue to shape our own stories.
Bob traces the community of the people of God through the Old Testament and explores the relevance and importance of this community for us today.
Matthew 7:7-12. Jesus describes God as a most loving father. In fact, it appears he believes that God will give us whatever we want. “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find…” On the surface, these seem like open-ended promises…but are they? Suppose you asked for what was not in your best interest. Would a good parent give it to you anyway? Is it possible that a good parent would deny a request to their children? Giving a child anything that he/she asks for is not exactly good parenting, is it? Surely we ought to evaluate the promises of Jesus in light of these experiences, shouldn’t we? How are we to understand this teaching of Jesus?
Josiah reminds us that the need for community existed since creation, even prior to the fall into sin, and reflects our being made in the image of God who exists in eternal community.
“Judge not or you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). These words of Jesus are quoted often and they are frequently invoked when someone is feeling protective of another, insulted or personally threatened. As usual, we tend to use the words as if we know their exact meaning, but do we? Is Jesus suggesting that words of judgment should never be used? Does he mean that we should not be discerning about what is good or bad, moral or immoral? Is Jesus suggesting that we ought not make judgments in court, enforce laws or punish criminals? Some claim that this is exactly what Jesus is teaching. This Sunday we will renew our study of the life and teaching of Jesus – rediscovering his teachings.
Josiah kicks off the new semester and the new series True Community with this message that reminds us that while salvation is personal, there are communal aspects we cannot ignore.
A look at the epiphanies of the wise men, the woman at the well, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and Paul’s conversion.
As we wrap up 2013 and head into a new year, it’s a good time to take stock and make course corrections if necessary. Dan asks two questions to help us do that.